On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

On the mend

Yesterday was a chemo day lasting five hours.  It was on top of a series of painful weeks with lots of tears and uncontrolled pain in spite of a sheaf of prescriptions, each with side-effects I couldn't learn to control.

When we arrived I was feeling so weak and wobbly - I've been sick all week - I knew I couldn't easily walk from the parking lot to the infusion suite so Steve fetched a wheelchair by the door and pushed me.  I've been a cancer patient there for almost eleven years - this was a first!

Steve dropped off custard tarts that he baked for staff, patients and visitors.  They flew off the plate!  (Does anyone watch the reruns of As Time Goes By?  Lionel eats one in every episode.)

In the waiting room Demi heard a nurse's voice - one who gives her treats - and jumped up to greet and be greeted.  The nurse came over, petted Demi and said hello to me.  I burst into tears.  It was a two-year-old's meltdown, I was in so much pain and have been for four months, ever since I had the radiation.

I apparently am known as being tough, not a whiner, and it freaked out the nurse to see me so unglued.  I went on to my doctor's appointment and was diagnosed with radiation induced colitis.  His only suggestion was the narcotics I already have and am now refusing to take because the side effects are actually worse than the pain.  It was a standoff.

They put me in the private bedroom for the infusion so I could lie down and suffer privately. Various staff members stopped by with suggestions for pain relief.  I was handed a letter of recommendation signed by my doctor.  Someone gave me a business card with an address on our route home.

I felt so much better last night.  I slept all night and, so far, I haven't had any pain today.  My hope is that a corner has been turned.  Sometimes it helps to do things a bit differently.

We woke up to the promised rain, a promise that will continue through the weekend.  The birds have been hovering over the window feeder where it's dry and tasty; there are often eight or ten feeding at once.  It gives me such pleasure to make them happy!


  1. So sorry that you felt such pain and awfulness:-(

  2. Wow, Barbara--The pain itself sounds more than bad enough, but its sheer persistence is an added bad-ness and exasperation. I do hope the corner is turned or gets turned soon.

    We enjoy As Time Goes By, but I had never noticed about Lionel and custard tarts!!

    Always sending good wishes to you from my corner of the world....

  3. Thank you so much, both of you. I'm fortunate that staff made it so easy for me to get medical marijuana which works wonders. One half-inch square of chocolate gives me 5 hours of pain relief without horrific side effects. So pain is finally under control.

    Rebecca - I'm in shock about the custard tarts! You're sure to notice them now, it's a major character feature for Lionel.


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